Neuhäusl Hunal converts interwar cinema into "morning to night" dining venue


A neutral colour palette unites the restaurant, bar and shop within a former interwar cinema and 19th century stables in Prague, which has been converted by local studio Neuhäusl Hunal.

Named Alma, after the cinema that used to occupy the site, the 800-square-metre space was renovated by Neuhäusl Hunal.

Understated lighting accentuates the original features of the cafe space

The ground floor was converted into a restaurant alongside a cafe, wine bar, wine shop and garden area, while the basement level contains a bar – which doubles as a nightclub – a function hall, a fermentation room and a room dedicated to wine tasting.

A colour palette dominated by sober, earthy tones was used to instil a laid-back yet refined atmosphere, which is the hallmark of all of operator Kro’s locations. As well as uniting various functions and purposes, the design scheme ties various architectural styles together, as the site contains a myriad of structures from a range of time periods.

Wine shop interior with vaulted ceilings
A wine shop is found on the ground floor

“The Alma project is housed in three buildings – the many-times-rebuilt classicistic house and the former stables in the courtyard date back to the 19th century,” Neuhäusl Hunal told Dezeen.

“The Alma cinema – which houses the restaurant today – was completed in 1924.”

“There was no significant interior work to react to – except, of course, for the original historic structures and vaults, which we wanted to let shine,” the studio continued.

Restaurant interior with exposed services on the ceiling
The restaurant has both wooden and metallic furnishings

Repeated elements found throughout the interiors include unobtrusive lighting fixtures, which serve to provide task and ambient lighting as well as to highlight the space’s original features, and tiled walls, which gradually darken from a light beige in the cafe to a dark tone in the subterranean bar.

In contrast with the overall muted interiors, graphic designer Jan Horčík created a bold wayfinding system characterised by chunky uppercase lettering displayed on illuminated light boxes.

“The sober interior is complemented by funky lightboxes, which illuminate it with their novel colours, formulations and graphic design,” said the studio.

“Alma works from morning to night: the day starts in the cafe, lunch and dinner can be sorted out in the restaurant, and then move on to the wine bar for a drink – this naturally corresponds to their designed character, colour, and atmosphere,” it continued.

“Logically, we treat brand-new constructions and historic ones differently – an interesting problem arises in the transitions between these spaces.”

Bar at the end of a vaulted room
The bar has an intimate atmosphere thanks to its vaulted ceiling

Neuhäusl Hunal has completed a number of projects in the Prague, including an apartment for a sculptor that doubles as a workshop.

Other recent adaptive reuse projects published on Dezeen include a guesthouse in Transylvania that used to be a church and a city hall inside a former maritime structure in the Netherlands.

The photography is by Radek Úlehla.


Project credits:

Client: Alma Prague
Building contractor: Avers
Project documentation: LZ atelier
Graphic design: Jan Horčík
Art blacksmith: Peter Demek (DEMO Works)
Lighting supplier: Bulb
Ceramic tiling supplier: Keraservis
Gastro: Kitchen Plan
Plants: Pokojovky



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